Monday, November 17

10 Steps To Start A School Newspaper At Your Rural School

The Fantastic Global Newspaper Team (consisting of students from Form 1-4)
Besides initiating a comic book project this year to encourage students to read more in the English language, I revived a school newspaper project I initiated in 2010. (Since then, I stopped to commit myself to being a Chief Warden.)

Thinking back to my high school days, producing a school newspaper was really easy at my urban high school where the teacher could just assign the project to a group of students & they would work everything out on their own like magic.
It is a lot more challenging for a rural school with limited facilities & students with limited proficiency.

This is how I did it. You can go ahead & do the same at your school.

Sunday, November 16

Ryan The Lion: A Gift From Afar

The "Ryan The Lion" book which flew all the way from Australia!
When you make public your desire to do something good (like collecting a library of simple books for your students), help can come from unexpected places.

The students at my school have very limited English so what is prescribed at secondary school is usually too challenging for them.
While forcing the horse to drink the bitter prescribed alphabet brew, I've spent many years sourcing for colourful children's books with simple English. These books are at the level of my students & very fascinating for them to read or just flip through. I'm hoping that, for once, reading English will actually make some sense to them.

They also happen to be too expensive for my school to pay for on limited government allocations (due to allocations given based on a small student population which has to be stretched across various subjects which need books in the library as well).
Fortunately, I am always able to find kind donors. This particular one was really special.

Thursday, November 6

#inspireKATIBAS: Big Hearts Taking Action In Rural Sarawak

#inspireKATIBAS 2014
In August this year, a group of young professionals led by Teach For Malaysia's Sarah Lasung came to my school to run a week-long programme.
The amazing thing about them is they were volunteers who came completely at their own expense for an opportunity to make a difference deep in jungles of Borneo.

Other similar programmes are Aram Katibas! this year as well as Program Jalinan KasihmissionKatibas & Jalinan Kasih Antarabangsa from last year. All unique & powerfully moving in the lives of my rural school students.

Why this programme?
My students do not have much in terms of role models & ambitions. Most want to join the civil service as policemen or soldiers. Some want to be teachers. Very few aspire to be professionals or businessmen. Eventually, too many of them end up doing odd jobs & living in slum like conditions.

This needs to change. There is so much out there that they can do & many of the best jobs today never existed 5 years ago.
I want my students to have the opportunity to be exposed to & explore new possibilities.
This was the challenge I extended to this enthusiastic & brilliant team of people from various educational/professional backgrounds.

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